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Killer In The Pool

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  302 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
ebook, 30 pages
Published July 30th 2010

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Jun 16, 2012 Katie rated it really liked it
Fascinating essay about Tilikum, a captive orca involved in the deaths of three humans in three separate instances, each raising the same questions: Should we keep these wild animals in captivity, given the dangers to both the animals and ourselves?

I'm going to go with "no," and at the risk of sounding cold and heartless, I'm much more concerned about the orca's plight than the dangers to ourselves. These people knew what they were getting into. You can't be a professional killer-whale trainer a
Dec 01, 2013 Tammy rated it it was amazing
What a tragedy all the way around. Tragic for Tilikum who never chose that life, and tragic for Dawn to have a beautiful life end that way. I don't think I will ever visit Sea World after reading this and seeing Blackfish.
Jan 12, 2016 K.N. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science, on-device, 2010s
This is a short but detailed essay about Tilikum (a marine park orca involved in three human deaths), and it's well worth the read. It explains the events that lead to the deaths as well as offers details on the circumstances that influenced Tilikum's behavior. It also includes some information on wild orca behavior and their habitats to illustrate the appalling conditions Tilikum's been in for over 20 years. It's a sad but interesting story.
Jordan Lahn
Jun 20, 2013 Jordan Lahn rated it it was amazing
Brief but powerful. Tries to present a fair and unbiased portrait of the situation surrounding the tragic death of Dawn. If you enjoy this and you're interested to learn more, check out Death at SeaWorld by David Kirby, or watch the new documentary Blackfish coming out this summer.
Libby Gordon
Nov 23, 2014 Libby Gordon rated it it was amazing
This is a 52 page essay about Tillikum, the Sew World Orca that killed a trainer during a "dining with Shamu" at their Orlanda theme park. There is also a Netflix documentary about this same incident that is excellent,

This book made me terribly sad that these beautiful, intelligent animals were initially ripped from their families for entertainment purposes.

I will NEVER attend a Shamu or any other killer whale show nor will I step foot in a Sea World park.
Feb 02, 2014 Becky rated it it was amazing
This is a great article to read if you have already seen blackfish and want more. Zimmerman has done his research and talked to people like Ken Balcomb and he's a well known whale expert. I still want to read more including Death at Seaworld.
Oct 07, 2013 Morgan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-read
I really enjoyed this article. It was so sad to see how the orcas are treated, in captivity and getting into captivity. This has really opened my eyes to truths I have been blind to.
M.L. Sparrow
Sep 29, 2016 M.L. Sparrow rated it really liked it
Shelves: orca-research
For more reviews, or to see my favourite quotes from this book, check out my blog at

Firstly, I just want to say that this is a shortarticle, not a full length book and can be found FREE online. I brought a Kindle copy of the book, just because I wanted easy access even when I don't have internet and I find Kindle best for highlighting and annotating.That said, on to the actual review...

I thought this was a good, eye-opening articles for people who don't necess
A quick but must read before anyone visits any Marine Parks such as SeaWorld, even better combined with 'Death at SeaWorld' and the documentary Blackfish.
Anyone interested in this short non-fiction piece would also likely be interested in the recently released Blackfish documentary which chronicles much of the plight of orcas in captivity, including SeaWorld.

As for this story I felt as though the author managed to stay unbiased, although I do not see how someone could read it and walk away feeling there is nothing wrong with having immensely intelligent beings such as orcas in captivity. Would YOU like to spend your lif
Jan 24, 2016 Kevin rated it liked it
This is NOT a book; dont buy. This is an article that you can read for FREE online.
Joan Edwards
Nov 22, 2016 Joan Edwards rated it it was amazing

I have used this title to describe what was pure greed. To steal baby orcas from their mothers and extended family is nothing but criminal. Man's ignorance of these animals has inevitably caused human deaths. To take the orcas from established pods which communicate between each other in the same language and dialect and then to put them with orcas from entirely different pods, different regions, different countries , to deny them their freedom is pure cruelty. This book give
Sep 16, 2013 Janet rated it really liked it
This article is very sad, about Tilikum the orcas who was captured in the waters off of Iceland when he was about two years old - still a young child, in the orca world. He has been linked to three deaths, the latest in 2010. He is currently at Sea World Orlando.

I grew up going to Sea World in San Diego, and I know the intent of these parks is for education and conservation. My first inkling that maybe orca captivity wasn't ideal, was when I saw an orca with Dorsal Fin Collapse. Turns out, it on
After seeing the trailer for Blackfish, I did a bit of digging for more info and opinions on the subject before I see the film, and came across this article. As I am familiar with the concept of zoochosis (psychosis and mental imbalances in animals in captivity, ie apes flinging their excrement or parrots pulling out their own feathers, due to a lack of stimulation, poor living situations, etc) in primates and other land animals, I don't doubt that it happens in brilliant, higher thinking ...more
Feb 04, 2016 Miranda rated it really liked it
This is a detailed essay that strives to be impartial whilst exploring the circumstances behind the death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau by the largest orca in captivity, Tilikum. It explores Tili's dark past, including both previous murders and argues why this whale is responsible for three deaths, when there's not a single recorded case of wild orcas harming humans.

Ultimately, despite it's impartiality, the fact cannot be denied that forced captivity is largely to blame for Tilikum's repe
Lisa Betteridge
Apr 24, 2016 Lisa Betteridge rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ocean
An incredible essay about Tilikum that portrays his life and tries to explain the events and reasons that led him to kill his trainer Dawn Brancheau. Incredibly sad that such a young and talented trainer had to die but this only strengthens the argument that orcas should not be held captive. In the film Blackfish it is further explained that Seaworld tried to pin the blame on Dawn for her own death which is just outrageous. After reading this essay and other books about orcas in captivity it is ...more
Jun 25, 2014 Margy rated it really liked it
A book that sheds light on the history of captive orcas and the billion dollar industry created by SeaWorld at their expense. The cruelty displayed with the "roundups" as wild orcas were ripped from family in the late 60s and 70s, to the current captive breeding program in place by SeaWorld, becomes obvious throughout the chapters. One day history will look back and rightfully label Ted Griffin and Don Goldsberry, the men who captured the first wild orca Shamu and began a subsequent "roundup" ...more
Katherine Coble
Jan 01, 2016 Katherine Coble rated it it was amazing
If you've seen Blackfish you know most of what's here. But it's still a very good read about one mammal trapped in a sad life.
Rick Carlson
Aug 01, 2016 Rick Carlson rated it liked it
Decent book, kind of a behind the scenes view of Orcas in captivity. A very sad existence, all about the money.
Gail McIver
Apr 11, 2015 Gail McIver rated it liked it

I choose three stars because I enjoyed the book but it ended abruptly.
I would, however, recommend it to a friend.
Mary Abraham
Dec 15, 2015 Mary Abraham rated it it was amazing
Well written article on the perils of captive orcas and the trauma they suffer from being penned in these relatively tiny cages. It's a heartbreaking story for both the victims and the killer whale.
Sep 18, 2013 Ari rated it liked it
Would've liked more details and more of an ending, plus some of the facts didn't match up with other things...
RACHEL CAPPER rated it really liked it
Feb 28, 2016
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Nov 05, 2015
Dorothy Ann
Dorothy Ann rated it liked it
Aug 03, 2015
Dana Shull
Dana Shull rated it really liked it
Apr 16, 2016
Susan J. Weigand
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Mar 06, 2016
Thomas rated it really liked it
May 13, 2015
Claire Francisco
Claire Francisco rated it it was amazing
Oct 09, 2015
Pod rated it really liked it
Mar 31, 2014
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“Brancheau was smiling, her long ponytail flaring out behind her. It was an endearing site: Man” 0 likes
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